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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Sustainable Thinking Classrooms

The project will create and evaluate practical teaching strategies to improve classroom learning in primary schools, through enhancing pupils’ thinking skills across the curriculum. The research examines the role of metacognition in teaching thinking skills. The term ‘metacognition’ refers to people’s knowledge about thinking which helps them to effectively manage their thought processes in learning and problem solving. Classroom dialogue is thought to play a key role in teaching this form of intellectual management. The project will focus on assessing and promoting appropriate dialogue and will analyse critical features in terms of improving learning outcomes for both pupils’ and teachers.
Three interrelated studies will be conducted. The first will develop and evaluate a framework for analysing metacognitive features of teachers’ and pupils’ classroom dialogue. The second study will evaluate the effects of a metacognitively-rich intervention on pupils’ and teachers’ learning. The third study will develop longer term strategies for sustaining thinking classrooms.
The project builds on the achievements of the ACTS (Activating Children’s Thinking Skills) project in Northern Ireland and will generate training materials in a variety of forms for teaching thinking skills which teachers can apply to their own practice and which will also be valuable for teacher trainers, education authorities and curriculum support units